I am helping a young author who self- published her first YA book. Now she would like to get an agent for her second book. She has no idea how to go about this...any ideas?
And it's not me..I just reviewed her first book(This Was My House First) on my blog at http://www.jssherr.blogspot.com Thankyou!
Hi Joyce, I've never had much luck with agents. The very best (powerful) ones are helpful, the ones available to unknown writers are much less so. Nothing wrong with self-publishing nowadays. But if indeed this young author wants an agent, send out a pitch, many agents are listed publicly. Some will accept an email query/submission. Hope this two cents helps, good luck.
Everyone has given great advice on finding agents. As an author who was originally self published and later picked up by a major, I just wanted to offer a few words of advice.
1. At the end of the day, it's not about the book sales. It's all about the book. Don't worry about your numbers. When I got my deal they didn't even ask until the deal was done. Editors want books they can sell to lots of people. If they fall in love with it and think it can be successful, the numbers will be secondary.
2. You may get lucky in finding an agent. Then again you might not. The key is not to get discouraged by rejection. I got rejected dozens of times before I gave up and self published. Then my book was discovered and later picked up. The key is I believed in my story and I knew I'd written a good one. You WILL get rejected, probably lots of times.
3. DO NOT IGNORE THE CRITICISM. Use it to make your work better. If you're lucky some agents who reject your book will give you feedback as to why. Get over your hurt feelings quickly and take to time to honestly consider the issues they bring up. I made changes for EVERY valid piece of criticism which ultimately helped me get my book sold.
4. Don't underestimate the power of a bad query letter. Most people suck at query letters and it takes practice to get them right. Strongly suggest you google the queryshark.blogspot and read as much as you can about query letters. Then when you query only send out 5-7 at a time. That way you can tweak your query letter until you get consistent requests for partials/fulls. Sometimes it's not your story that sucks it's the way you convey it in the query.
I hope this helps. Feel free to inbox me if you have other questions I can answer.